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How to create effective instructional videos: A step-by-step guide

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Discover effective techniques for crafting engaging instructional videos. Boost learning retention and captivate your audience with our expert tips.

How to create effective instructional videos: A step-by-step guide

Instructional videos are an excellent way to share knowledge, teach new skills, and engage with your audience. Whether you're creating tutorials, online courses, or training videos, the process of making instructional videos can seem daunting. However, with proper planning and execution, you can create compelling and effective instructional videos that resonate with your learners. In this step-by-step guide, we will explore the key elements of creating instructional videos that deliver value and engage your audience.

What is an instructional video?

An instructional video is a multimedia resource that uses visual and auditory elements to teach specific knowledge or skills. It is a concise and engaging form of educational content that provides step-by-step guidance, clear explanations, and visual demonstrations to help learners understand and apply the subject matter. Instructional videos leverage audiovisual learning to enhance comprehension and retention, making them effective tools for delivering information in an interactive and accessible format.

Use cases for instructional videos

Whether it's for educational purposes, professional training, or even DIY projects, instructional videos have proven to be highly effective in facilitating learning and enhancing comprehension when real-time demonstrations aren’t possible. Some of the most prominent use cases for instructional videos include:

  • Tutorial videos and how-to videos — Teach specific skills or guide users through a process step-by-step
  • Screencast videos — Demonstrate software or online activities by capturing your computer screen through screen recording tools
  • Explainer videos — Simplify complex concepts or products by providing clear explanations and visual aids
  • Training videos — Provide comprehensive information for employee training, onboarding new hires, or teaching specific job-related skills
  • Educational videos — Offer valuable knowledge or elearning courses on a particular subject or academic topic
  • Infographics and walkthroughs — Present information in a visually engaging and interactive manner
  • Presentation videos — Deliver engaging presentations by incorporating visuals, animations, and voice over narrations

Step-by-step: How to create an instructional video

Whether you're an educator, trainer, or content creator, instructional videos can greatly enhance your ability to communicate and engage with your audience. Here is a guide to master the art of making your own instructional videos:

Define your video idea

Determine the topic and learning objective of your instructional video. Consider your target audience's needs and interests. Brainstorm ideas that are relevant and valuable to them. Whether you're introducing a new product, providing step-by-step instructions, or offering expert tips, choose a topic that aligns with your learners' goals.

Plan and script your video

Scriptwriting and storyboarding are crucial for creating a coherent and organized instructional video. Write a detailed video script that outlines the step-by-step instructions, key points, and explanations you want to convey. Use a storyboard to plan the visuals, transitions, and flow of the video. This will help you stay focused and ensure a smooth production process.

Choose the right software and equipment

Select the appropriate video editing software and equipment based on your needs and budget. Consider factors such as video quality, ease of use, and features like screen recording and annotations.

Set pricing

Determine the appropriate pricing for your instructional videos, considering factors such as video production costs, value provided, and your target market. Decide whether you'll offer free content, paid courses, or a combination of both. Establishing clear pricing and a business model will help you create a sustainable instructional video strategy.

Record your video

Set up your recording space with proper lighting and clear audio. Utilize a webcam, screen recording software, or a combination of both, depending on the type of instructional video you are creating, and start recording. Make sure to use a clear voice, and don’t worry if you mess up, that’s what video editors are for.

Edit your video

Use video editing software to enhance the quality of your video. Trim unnecessary footage, add on-screen text or annotations, and incorporate transitions to create a cohesive and visually appealing instructional video. Also, consider incorporating subtitles to aid learners who prefer or require text-based information and voice overs for accessibility.

Create an attention-grabbing thumbnail

Design a visually compelling thumbnail that accurately represents your instructional video's content. A well-designed thumbnail can attract viewers and encourage them to click on your video.

Promote your instructional video

Share your video on relevant social media platforms, websites, or online communities. Use targeted keywords, tags, and descriptions to optimize your video for search engines.

Measure and refine

Monitor the performance of your instructional video by tracking metrics such as views, engagement, and feedback. Use this data to make improvements and refine your future video creations.

Elements of the best instructional videos

Although we’ve already covered the main steps to creating an instructional video, the best instructional videos typically possess several key elements that make them effective in delivering clear and engaging instruction. Here are some important elements to consider when recording videos:

  • Clear and concise communication — Instructional videos should present information in a clear and straightforward manner. The language should be concise, avoiding unnecessary jargon or complex explanations. Each step or concept should be articulated clearly and in a logical sequence.
  • Visual demonstration — Videos should include visual demonstrations that effectively illustrate the concepts or procedures being taught. This can be achieved through the use of graphics, animations, diagrams, or live-action footage. Visuals help learners understand the content more easily and enhance their comprehension.
  • Interactive elements — Including interactive elements in instructional videos can enhance engagement and reinforce learning. This can be achieved by incorporating quizzes, knowledge checks, or interactive annotations that prompt learners to participate actively.
  • Appropriate length — Determine whether your instructional video will be a long-form video or a series of micro-videos. Long videos are suitable for in-depth explanations and comprehensive courses, while short videos are ideal for quick tips or specific concepts. Consider your learners' preferences and attention span when deciding on the video format.
  • Accessible design — Making instructional videos accessible to a wide range of learners is crucial. Provide closed captions or subtitles for viewers with hearing impairments, and ensure the video's visual elements are designed with color contrast and font size considerations for those with visual impairments.

Speechify AI Studio - The easiest way to create instructional videos

To streamline the process of creating instructional videos, consider using Speechify AI Studio. Speechify AI Studio simplifies the video creation process and enhances the learning experience for your audience. It offers user-friendly tools and templates for creating high-quality instructional videos, including beginner-friendly advanced AI video editing tools, lifelike voice overs, and the ability to translate your video into any language with just one click. Create instructional videos that effectively convey knowledge, engage your learners, and achieve your instructional goals by trying Speechify AI studio for free today.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.